Cub Swanson had too many weapons at his disposal.
The Jackson-Wink MMA standout dissected “The Ultimate Fighter 22” finalist Artem Lobov, kept his place in line in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s cutthroat featherweight division and pocketed a unanimous decision in the UFC Fight Night 108 headliner on Saturday at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Scores were 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45, all for Swanson (25-7, 10-3 UFC).
Lobov (13-13-1, 2-3 UFC) was outgunned and outclassed but nevertheless authored some memorable moments of his own. The SBG Ireland representative surprised Swanson with a first-round takedown, took some figurative chunks out of his lead leg with kicks and tagged the longtime featherweight contender with intermittent left hands. Swanson threw everything in his arsenal at “The Russian Hammer,” from a wheel kick and cartwheel kick to a spinning back elbow and a standing hammerfist. He nearly finished it in Round 2, where he tripped Lobov to the floor, moved toward mount and climbed to the back before threatening with a rear-naked choke (bookmakers).
Bleeding from a cut on his left eyelid, Lobov faded in the later rounds. Swanson sent right and left hooks crashing into his head and put an exclamation point on his fourth straight win with a judo throw and subsequent mount in the fifth round.
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Surgical Iaquinta Waylays Sanchez
Serra-Longo Fight Team rep Al Iaquinta returned from a two-year layoff to cut down “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez with punches in the first round of their lightweight co-main event. Sanchez (27-10, 16-10 UFC) bowed out just 98 seconds into Round 1.
Iaquinta (13-3-1, 8-2 UFC) met the veteran’s aggression with precision. He decked Sanchez with a clean right hook, bailed on a subsequent guillotine attempt and allowed the shaken New Mexico native to stand on unsteady legs. Iaquinta then connected with a right cross that dropped the 35-year-old to his knees and forced referee John McCarthy to act.
The 29-year-old Iaquinta has rattled off five consecutive wins.
St. Preux Choke Taps Bloodied ‘Pezao’
Knoxville Martial Arts Academy cornerstone Ovince St. Preux submitted Marcos Rogerio de Lima with a shoulder choke in the second round of their catchweight feature at 210 pounds. De Lima (15-5-1, 4-3 UFC), who was four pounds overweight for the fight, conceded defeat 2:11 into Round 2.
St. Preux (20-10, 8-5 UFC) stood his ground through a difficult first round, where the Brazilian pelted him with powerful kicks to the leg and body. He responded early in the second, as he took down de Lima and tore into him with damaging, elbow-laced ground-and-pound, opening cuts around both eyes. St. Preux then countered an ill-advised guillotine attempt from “Pezao” with the Von Flue choke, prompting the tapout.
The victory snapped a three-fight losing streak for St. Preux.
Mesmerizing Dodson Bests Wineland
“The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner John Dodson breezed past onetime World Extreme Cagefighting champion Eddie Wineland, as he captured a unanimous decision in their featured bantamweight pairing. All three cageside judges scored it for Dodson (19-8, 8-3 UFC): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
Speed was the difference. Wineland (23-12-1, 5-6 UFC) could not find the Jackson-Wink MMA rep with his punches, at least not enough of them. Dodson carved up his counterpart with blinding punching combinations, zeroing in on the body and head with equal aplomb. By the time it was over, Wineland was bleeding out of his nose and mouth and from multiple cuts.
Resilient Ray Decisions Lauzon
Former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Steven Ray withstood a horrific first-round beating to take a majority decision from Joe Lauzon in a grueling 15-minute lightweight showcase. Scores were 28-27, 29-27 and 28-28, giving Ray (21-6, 5-1 UFC) his seventh victory in eight appearances.
Lauzon (27-13, 14-10 UFC) executed a takedown inside the first minute of Round 1 and proceeded to brutalize the Scot with slashing elbows and penetrating right hands from top position. He achieved full mount on multiple occasions and appeared to be closing in on a finish at various stages, but Ray somehow survived. Fatigue became an issue for Lauzon in the second round, and he deteriorated further in the third. There, Ray weathered a takedown and made his move, battering “The Ultimate Fighter 5” semifinalist with standing elbows, punches and knee strikes until the horn sounded.
Perry Elbow KOs Ellenberger
Mike Perry knocked out Kings MMA export Jake Ellenberger with a savage standing elbow in the second round of their welterweight feature. An unconscious Ellenberger (31-13, 10-9 UFC) bounced off the canvas 65 seconds into Round 2, his body stiff and his toes curled.
Perry (10-1, 3-1 UFC) fought through some adversity. Ellenberger executed a takedown and got his attention with a right hook and body kick in the first round. Early in the middle stanza, he appeared to break Perry’s nose with a left hook-right uppercut combination and swarmed with knees and punches along the fence. However, Ellenberger’s efforts went for naught. Perry dropped him with a left hook, allowed him to stand and then uncorked a short but violent right elbow that turned out the lights.